Thursday, September 28, 2017

Flock & Flowers Backyard Update

Sunflower in Rula's garden wrapped in Cardinal Climber
Happy Fall! This is my favorite season and I thought I'd post some of the garden and flock photo updates. This year's chicken flock additions are doing great, as are my ducks and geese. In fact, we've been getting a very small duck egg every few days. I'm not sure who is laying, but I suspect it's my Khaki Campbell female, Amber, who is the smallest (dainty young lady) of my ducks. As for my Brown Chinese Geese, you'll recall that their size and behavior as goslings had me almost certain that I had a male and two females. Well, now the middle sized one (as a baby), Galadriel, has caught up in size to the one I'm sure is a male, Gandalf, and her behavior has changed. Her knob is much bigger than Tauriel's too. Now I'm thinking I might have two males. I'm not sure, but we'll see. I may have to get more females, although my Pekin duck female, Spirit, has a total crush on Galadriel. Yes, romance in the flock. :) Scroll through the pics below! I included a few flower pics that I'd posted on Facebook, for those who don't FB. Sorry about spacing between pics in this post. Blogger wasn't cooperating.

Some of Rula's flock
Rula's geese...Tauriel on the left, Galadriel in the middle and Gandalf to the right

Rula's Brown Chinese Geese
Rula's geese: Tauriel (I'm sure a female), Galadriel (sure was a female when younger, now I think she's a male based on new behaviors, knob and 'she's' so loud), and Gandalf (was the largest gosling, always on guard and I'm pretty sure is a male)
Rula's sunflowers
The Cardinal Climber that wraps around Rula's sunflowers. The hummingbirds LOVE it!

Rula's butterfly garden

 And some may have seen my harvest last month on FB...

Asian pears and apples from Rula's trees.

A cool frog on Rula's window, backlit by an outdoor light at night.

Budding zinnia in Rula's garden

Zinnia in Rula's garden

Zinnia in Rula's garden

Zinnia in Rula's garden. I love that name. I might need to call my next hen 'Zinnia'.
 And a recent sunset...

September Sunset at Rula's
I also have a little public service announcement regarding cats. You may not have a lot of feral or stray cats around your place, but I'm surrounded by farms with barns. Recently, a mommy cat and her two kittens, plus a cat I think was dad, took up residence in our garage. The only problem is that we already have a TNR'd feral calico living there and she wasn't too happy about this. The new kitties were strays (very friendly), as opposed to feral. TNR refers to 'Trap, Neuter, Release'. We have a program in our county where you can trap feral cats, have them neutered/spayed and vaccinated, then re-released in the same place they were trapped. They get to live out their live this way, while also controlling the population (litter prevention). This also keeps them out of kill shelters. Since 'mine' were strays, I took them in to check for microchipping (they weren't) and they were put up for adoption. Mama has already been adopted! I would have kept them myself, but I already have 3 indoor cats and one outdoor. Please look into TNR in your area, especially if you don't have 'no kill' shelters. And if you want a pet, adopt!

On another note, for those who don't see my announcements on FB or Twitter regarding giveaways, I also try and post them under 'news' on my website. Currently, I have a Goodreads Giveaway going on for After the Silence (Sept 22 - Oct 9). Details HERE.

Oh, and before I get back to writing, I have my next title to share! This is for book #6 in the 'From Kenya, With Love' series..the one after Every Serengeti Sunrise. No cover yet, but the title is...The Twin Test. Something tells me there might be twins on the cover, but we'll see ;). Cover or not, it's already up for pre-order (release date May 1, 2018)!

The next time I post, we'll be enjoying favorite month. See you then!


  1. Beautiful pictures!

    How old are the geese? They look ready to mate. Do you think the males will make themselves a nuisance to Tauriel once they become sexually mature? Birds can be so aggressive to one another when the hormones kick in.

  2. Thanks, Maria! The geese are about 5 months old. I got them as babies at a local farm store and was told they hatched the beginning of May. From what I've read, geese (at least this breed) won't start laying until around a year old or close to it. In any case, unlike our ducks who are mating left and right (and the geese are always trying to break things's like they're the party chaperones lol), geese have a more distinct season, which is supposed to be late winter/early spring. I've read that if they don't start laying this Feb/March, they may end up waiting until next year's breeding season. I also read that it's better to wait until they're two years old if I actually want to let them hatch eggs.

    As for the sexes...I swear I change my mind daily while watching them. Since these aren't show quality, Galadriel could have some mix in her. I've heard that sometimes African (swan) geese, which look a lot like Chinese but are much bigger, are often mixed with the Chinese to improve egg production. Her face and knob are a bit different than the others, so maybe she is a girl but a big one because of some mix. Right now, when I put them in at night, Gandalf is at the door separating me from Galadriel and Tauriel, which is classic male behavior. He's always acted like the protector (even as a baby). Interestingly, he seemed to pair off with Galadriel early on, leaving Tauriel as more of a third wheel. So maybe Galadriel is just a big, bossy girl. You're supposed to have more females than ganders, but I also read if the ganders were raised together, it's not as much of an issue. They'll fight a bit and be more aggressive during breeding season only, from what I gather. How bad just depends, so I'll be on the lookout. But I'm still really hoping Galadriel is messing with me and she's a girl lol. I guess we'll see!

    I tell you thought, those Sometimes I think they're a bunch of happy kindergartners at a pool party and sometimes they act like free-spirit hippies at Woodstock. Too funny. The geese, on the other hand, make me think of their namesakes, or maybe Professor McGonnagal and Dumbledore lol.